The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    The mountains look on Marathon—­
      And Marathon looks on the sea;
    And musing there an hour alone,
      I dream’d that Greece might still be free;
    For standing on the Persian’s grave,
    I could not deem myself a slave.

    A King sat on the rocky brow,
      Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis;
    And ships by thousands lay below,
      And men in nations—­all were his! 
    He counted them at break of day—­
    And when the sun set, where were they?

    And where were they? and where art thou,
      My country?  On thy voiceless shore
    The heroic lay is tuneless now—­
      The heroic bosom beats no more! 
    And must thy lyre, so long divine,
    Degenerate into hands like mine?

    ’Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
      Though link’d among a fetter’d race,
    To feel at least a patriot’s shame,
      Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
    For what is left the poet here? 
    For Greeks a blush—­for Greece a tear.

    Must we but weep o’er days more blest? 
      Must we but blush?—­Our fathers bled
    Earth! render back from out thy breast
      A remnant of our Spartan dead! 
    Of the three hundred grant but three,
    To make a new Thermopylae!

    What! silent still? and silent all? 
      Ah! no!—­the voices of the dead
    Sound like a distant torrent’s fall,
      And answer, “Let one living head—­
    But one—­arise! we come, we come!”
    ’Tis but the living who are dumb.

    In vain—­in vain:  strike other chords;
      Fill high the cup with Samian wine! 
    Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
      And shed the blood of Scio’s vine! 
    Hark! rising to the ignoble call—­
    How answers each bold Bacchanal?

    You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
      Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone? 
    Of two such lessons, why forget
      The nobler and the manlier one? 
    You have the letters Cadmus gave—­
    Think ye he meant them for a slave?

    Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! 
      We will not think of themes like these! 
    It made Anacreon’s song divine;
      He served—­but served Polycrates—­
    A tyrant:  but our masters then
    Were still at least our countrymen.

    The tyrant of the Chersonese
      Was freedom’s best and bravest friend—­
    That tyrant was Miltiades! 
      Oh! that the present hour would lend
    Another despot of the kind! 
    Such chains as his were sure to bind.

    Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! 
      On Suli’s rock and Perga’s shore
    Exists the remnant of a line
      Such as the Doric mothers bore;
    And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
    The Heracleidian blood might own.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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